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Exorbitant ad rates but brands not skipping ICC World Cup 2019

The added advantage this year is that the matches are being held at Indian primetime.

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MUMBAI: The battle of the biggest cricket teams from across the globe for the coveted ICC Cricket World Cup begins on 30 May and so does a clash of advertisers on various streaming platforms. This once-in-four-year event has a great strategic value for advertisers in India as for the people here. The added advantage this year is that the matches are being held at Indian primetime.

As per Havas Media Group India managing director Mohit Joshi, matches that India will be playing are expected to deliver around 5+ TVRs (avg) and non-India matches are expected to display around 1.5 to 2 TVRs (avg).

For digital, ICC is expecting 300 million people in India and the Indian subcontinent to watch the matches on digital platforms.

DDB Mudra Group senior partner and national buying head for digital Nitin Singh shared that Hotstar, the streaming platform from Star network, which recorded more than 18 million concurrent views during the recent IPL finale is expecting a viewership of 12-15 million for the World Cup matches. The number is expected to nearly double for premium matches like India v/s Pakistan, where the viewership can touch the 23-30 million mark.

This creates a win-win situation for both the advertisers and the broadcasters, who are making the most of this marquee property. Indiantelevision.com talked to industry experts to find out the burning trends that will shape the ad world this cricketing season:

Broadcasters are charging exorbitant rates for ads

Given the spectacular interest the Indian audience is expected to show in the game, broadcasters are definitely utilising the opportunity smartly, ensuring the lucrative aspects of the sport are not missed.

Star Sports, which will live telecast the match across the country via its multi-lingual channels and digital counterpart Hotstar has been charging exorbitant rates from the advertisers willing to put their ads on-air during the matches. As per industry estimates, the ad rates are likely to range between 5 and 10 lakh

International brand expert and CEO Brands of Desire Saurabh Uboweja told Indiantelevision.com that the rates are likely to vary from 5-10 lakh for a package deal for all 48 matches of the World Cup on TV and Hotstar. It will go up to 25 lakh for a showcase match like India v/s Pakistan especially if it happens to be the semi-final or final.

Mohit Joshi also shared a similar estimate for the ad slot rates stating, “There are various packages available depending on client needs. On average, the rate would be around 7-10 lakh if you take all matches and all channels.”

With more and more viewers shifting the preferred viewing medium from TV to digital, the online platforms are also in the mode to earn better here.

For digital broadcasters like Hotstar, ESPN and so on, ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 presents a brilliant monetisation opportunity, said Vertoz founder and CEO Ashish Shah. “As these digital platforms enable advertisers to reach out to only relevant audience segments advertisers flock to them in order to get advertising opportunities during the event. Thus, the event has the potential to generate millions in ad revenue for digital broadcasters.”

Nitin Singh, citing his estimates for the ad rates on digital platforms, noted, “For Hotstar, initially, the ad slot for a 10-second ad was priced at Rs 120-130. However, the rates have gone up now and the advertisers who are picking up the few remaining slots will have to pay much more moolah to the broadcaster. Earlier, a 30-second ad would have been Rs 370 but now the rates have reached up to Rs 500.”

Brands are spending heartily on the property

Advertising during high-decibel events always ensures that brands get maximum eyeballs, and with a global event like World Cup, the brands have the opportunity to reach out to international audiences as well. As per several media reports, Star Sports is expected to earn around Rs 18,000 crore in ad revenue from the World Cup.

Joshi told us that among top investors in the biggest festival for cricket lovers are brands like PhonePe, Havells, and Kamala Pasand, who are also the co-presenting sponsors. They have pumped in around Rs 70 crore in the tournament. He further added that Dairy Milk, MRF, Policy Bazaar, Royal Stag, Uber, Byju’s, Amazon Prime, Dream11, PaisaBazaar.com are associate sponsors and they are all investing around Rs 40 crore approximately.

As per data shared by TAM Media Research, players from the mobile phone and automobile sector were the top investors in the 2015 World Cup. Maruti Suzuki India, Bharti Airtel, and MRF Ltd were the top three advertisers.

The trend is expected to remain more or less the same this season as well, shared Singh. He added that FMCG and e-commerce sector will also be using the opportunity to connect to the customers better with the latter probably announcing their summer sales as well.

Vertoz founder and CEO Ashish Shah noted, “Sponsors such as GoDaddy, Dream11, and Booking.com and many others are investing in advertising during ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. With the increasing popularity of digital platforms, digital companies are more inclined towards investing in this event.”

TV v/s Digital: The constant tussle for ad pie continues

While most of the industry believes that most people are turning to digital to view live events, as was the case with IPL finale and the general election results , they still believe that a larger impact for advertisers will come from television.

Singh shared, “While the impact will still come from TV and a larger chunk of monies will go there, there is a significant shift towards digital, no doubt.”

Onida head of marketing Pratyush Chinmoy added, “Online traffic is expected to grow by at least 30-40 per cent, with brands also shifting more of their spends online. However, TV, of course, would be way above digital in terms of total reach and impact. Also, with regional channels also showcasing the world cup, the message gets amplified across different geographies.”

Apart from advertising on TV and digital, a lot of on-ground activation and brand integration in non-live components is going expected to happen.

Joshi noted, “We will be seeing some great creative inputs from brands like Havells, MRF, MG Motor, Nissan, Ford, PhonePe, Amazon Prime, Dream11, Policy Bazaar, PaisaBazaar, Dairy Milk, Uber, Royal Stag, Byju’s. Besides spots in live matches, we will also see brand integrations in non-live components. One of our own clients, Philips Hue will be interestingly associated with CricketLive.”

Singh expects brands like Nike and Adidas promoting sports as a product in their marketing campaigns this IPL. He is also of the view that Zomato and Swiggy will once again take the leap in getting their platforms registered amongst the masses with interesting campaigns as they did around IPL.

The World Cup is surely going to be an enthralling season for brands and advertisers and if India performs well, their ROIs are expected to be in great shape.

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